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Breaking the Ice:

The True Story of the First Woman to Play in the National Hockey League

Breaking the Ice Children's Book by Angie Bullaro

Title: Breaking the Ice: The true story of the first woman to play in the national hockey league
Author: Angie Bullaro
Illustrator: C.F. Payne

Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 20th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5344-2557-6

Grades: Pre-K-3


order the Book: 

Simon & Schuster              BAM!

Barnes & Noble                 Indiebound

Target                                 Bookshop

Indigo Books & Music       Amazon

  • An Amazon Editor's pick for best nonfiction children's book

  • Houston Library's Pick for one of the Best Children's Biography books

  • A Junior Library guild selection


From the time Manon Rhéaume was old enough to tie on a pair of ice skates, she dreamed of playing hockey. So when the team her father coached was in need of a goalie, five-year-old Manon begged for a chance to play. She didn’t care that she’d be the only girl in the entire league, or that hockey was considered a “boy’s sport” in 1978 in her hometown of Lac-Beauport, Quebec, Canada; she just wanted to be in the game. Her father agreed and Manon embarked on a ground-breaking career in hockey.


At every level of competition, tournament rules had to be changed to allow Manon to play. But play she did, earning her place on prestigious teams and ultimately becoming the first woman to play in  the National Hockey League. With an afterward by Manon Rhéaume herself, this true story of courage, determination, and love for the sport, tells for the first time how an amazing woman dared to go where no woman had gone before and inspired generations of girls and women to take to the ice.

"An eminently enjoyable biography, not just for hockey fans, but for all who love stories of pioneering women."

-Kirkus Review

"This straightforward, inspirational biography emphasizes Rhéaume’s grit (“She played with bruised arms and pulled muscles”) and the sexism she faced (“coaches still cut her from the best teams simply because she was a girl”). Payne’s intensely detailed illustrations realistically capture the dull sheen of goalie pads and the thwack of slap shots as Rhéaume plays her way to the pros. Includes an afterword by Rhéaume, a timeline, and 'fun facts.'"

-publishers weekly

"Written in third person from Manon’s viewpoint, the story unfolds with moments of drama and success, underpinned by her determination. Payne’s expressive large-scale illustrations, created with acrylics and colored pencils, portray even minor characters as individuals."

-Booklist Review (Carolyn Phelan)

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